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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Cancer vs Cancer

So, I don't know if you will have seen the Pancreatic Cancer Charity's new advertising campaign but I feel compelled to write something about it.

Seeing the tag line "I wish I had Breast Cancer" on a poster of a woman's face from this particular charity with no explanation left a bad taste in my mouth, I was immediately annoyed by it as I am sure many other people were.  After reading a bit more about this campaign - not just mentioning Breast Cancer but Testicular Cancer too I still am not quite sure what to make of it all.

OK - so looking at it in very general terms - yes, Breast and Testicular Cancer's have a far higher survival rates - but having lived through the disease I am not much for blanket generalisations.  I am very sure that some forms of Breast Cancer and Testicular Cancers have very low survival rates and just because some have high survival rates now - why would having Breast Cancer for example be any better that having Pancreatic Cancer?  You can't compare the two - all Cancers are different and affect people in different ways - I remember the Younger Women's Forum I attended - no one there had the same story to tell because the variations of the disease are massive.

 I just cannot get behind what seems like an argument between two petulant teenager's - "My Cancer's worse" - "No, My Cancers worse!"  I would wish no form of Cancer on anyone and can't help but feel that this kind of advertising is very irresponsible.  I did think for a while did they think - oh well, even negative advertising is good if it gets attention!

It's true all types of Cancer need more money, more research - basically need a cure - some more than others, but is pitting one Cancer against another a valid advertising strategy?

The pessimist in me wonders if in a way Breast Cancer Charities have bought this on themselves by always showing the "Pink and Fluffy" advertising, it has always worried me that people see Breast Cancer as non-threatening, a walk in the park - which it is in no way, shape or form, trust me.  This advertising campaign has taken advantage of that incorrect assumption and only reinforced it, which in my opinion is not a good thing.

Even now sitting here thinking about it I do not think they made the right choice with this "I Wish" campaign.  I hate Cancer, I wish it did not exist full stop, but I never once when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer sat around thinking "I wish I had Skin Cancer", and I can guarantee you that my Husband when he was diagnosed with Terminal Lung Cancer never sat round wishing he had some other form of this disease.  If you have Cancer, the only thing you should want is no Cancer.

I feel belittled by this campaign, why would you assume I had an easier time than you?  It is arrogant and unhelpful and reinforces a falsehood that my Cancer was or is less devastating than yours - whoever you may be.....I do not want to argue the point at all as the only thing I would say is "I wish Cancer did not Exist".

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way. Saying you wish you had a different kind of cancer belittles the struggles of those who fight them. It's insensitive and it's wrong. Screw all cancers. Period.

    JT (Stage IIIb Testicular Cancer Survivor)